Smash the Icon

One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight

As the first game of 2024, Olivier and I played 300 points of One Page Rules (OPR) Grimdark Future Firefight with his Human Defense Force (HDF) versus my Plague Disciples.

It was time for me to dust off my small Games Workshop Nurgle troop. Olivier had finally an opportunity to play his new 3D-printed and excellently painted and weathered HDF warband. Check out Olivier’s Instagram profile for some pro-looking paint jobs.

I proposed the scenario “Smash the Icon” from the excellent “Sci-Fi Skirmish Scenarios” book, from which we played “Strut your Stuff” in the past. You can read more about the book on Bedroom Battlefields extensive review.

The day we played our game, version 3.20 was released. So, we quickly printed the rules just before our game.

Olivier brought a nice bottle of liquid courage and we were ready to set up the game.

OPR One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight Human Defense Force HDF vs. Plague Disciples
This game is sponsored by Oliver’s excellent whiskey from Bretagne.


Ardennes System, outskirts of the Sirius Sector, Planet Merovech Prime, somewhere in the swamps close to the ruins of Settlement AE-57, Year 40.126, 1 month prior to the festivities in honor of the God Emperor.

It has come to the attention of the Human Defense Force garrisoned on Merovech Prime, that a rogue gathering of foul heretics, known as the Plague Disciples, intend to perform the unholy ritual of Zool* in the ruins of a sacred temple. As a matter of fact, these very infidels have been reported heading for the temple earlier this day.

OPR One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight Human Defense Force HDF vs. Plague Disciples

Obviously, the apostates must be stopped before the unsanctified ceremony offends the local God. The clergy of the Human Defense Force dispatches a group of highly trained specialists, the Lotharingian Guard, under Sergeant Wigeric, to forestall the rite by smashing the blasphemer’s unholy icon, without which the ceremony cannot be completed. This icon must be destroyed by the strong arm of a believer, so just dropping a bomb on the wretched won’t work.

Winning conditions

My goal, as the Plague Disciples Player, was to conjure some unholy presence by executing the ritual of Zool in contact with the item (the obelisk) at the center of the temple ruins. To successfully finish that ritual, I needed to get a score of 21 on D6 throws at the beginning of each new round or play a maximum of 8 rounds. Thus, the minimum of rounds was 4.

OPR One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight Human Defense Force HDF vs. Plague Disciples
The cursed powers are aligned. The ritual is about to start.

The Human Defense Force’s aim was, of course, to prevent the summoning from happening by smashing the unholy icon. In order to do that, they had to roll a 2+ with one unit next to icon, without having the Plague Disciples next to it as well.

My strategy was of thus, clear to me: I must defend the icon and try to roll high at the beginning of each round.

For Olivier’s HDF, that meant a steady advance/rush towards the temple, eliminating any enemy threat along the way.

A ruthless race against time was now to begin.

OPR One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight Human Defense Force HDF vs. Plague Disciples
The HDF localized the foul ritual just on time!


We set up a 3 x 3 battle field with lots of LOS-blocking and difficult terrain. I put the temple ruins towards my side of the board. Olivier deployed his HDF within 6 inches from his table edge, and I deployed my Plague Disciples around the icon, with my Plague Zombies in contact with it.

OPR One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight Human Defense Force HDF vs. Plague Disciples

The OPR HDF had initiative over the Plague Disciples and kicked off the game.

1st round

Ritual progress: 0+6=6

I started the game by rolling a 6 on the Die to determine progress on my ritual. Good start!

Olivier’s HDF troops got to activate first and advanced towards the temple ruins. Movement was a bit slowed down, due to marshes and ruins along the way.

I left a unit of plague zombies behind the icon to continue the ritual. The other was moved to a hiding spot in very close vicinity. I fanned out the two Plague Brothers and my champion to hopefully slow down the HDF troops with open fire.

2nd round

Ritual progress: 6+6=12

I concentrated the little fire power I had at the approaching Ogryn. Successfully. I took him down eventually.

The Ogryn

The HDF advanced relentlessly and opened fire on my units as soon as it had line of sight. Olivier’s units scored their first kills.

OPR One Page Rules Grimdark Future Firefight Human Defense Force HDF vs. Plague Disciples

3rd round

Ritual progress: 12+2=14

At this time, we were quite nervous about the possible outcome of the came. I wasn’t sure at all anymore to win this match.

4th round

Ritual progress: 14+6=20

I was only 1 ritual point away from winning at that point and the HDF were dangerously close to do so as well!

That’s when, I sent out a group of Plague Zombies to intercept Olivier’s rapidly approaching troops.

I managed to make my zombies kill some soldiers or to slow down their advance.

Buying time (1 more turn) was my only chance of winning this game, since I needed exactly 1 more ritual point on the D6 at the beginning of the next turn.


Eventually, at the start of the 5th round, I got a 3 on the D6, bringing my ritual points to 23. I won the game by completing the dark ritual. But, I was very close to losing it. Olivier would have had his troops next to the icon in the following round and I would have lost my 2 remaining zombies at the Icon. Rolling a 2+, wouldn’t have been much of a challenge for Olivier.


The ritual of Zool was fulfilled! The Human Defense Force came too late. But the HDF is already on its way with reinforcement.

We really enjoyed clashing Olivier’s HDF against my Plague Disciples in this game of OPR Grimdark Future Firefight. We were constantly engaged with the game, and the fact, that no one knew the numbers of rounds still to be played, created a sense of urgency or race against time.

* a rough sketch I drew of Zool


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